Made my first sauerkraut this year too. Unlike my mom, who had access to a crock and lots of home grown cabbage, I had to make it in the jar, and the only cabbage of mine that produced was the savoy cabbage. Not sure how it's going to turn out...
Not to gross you out, but I made sauerkraut many years ago in a great big crock. I put it on the back porch since I could not stand it in the kitchen and I had no basement.
My son had just started potty training. He was playing on his tricycle on the back porch, when he ran over to the crock lifted up the lid, pulled down the front of his trainers, well I did not get sauerkraut that year, and I think putting it in jars has to be cleaner and safer.